PHOENIX-Westcor, the Valley’s most active retail developer, has hawked two centers in the northwest Valley, baiting a $27.8-million transaction with GDA Real Estate Services, headquartered in Greenwood Village, CO.

Stripped from Westcor’s portfolio is the 115,000-sf North Valley power center in Peoria, AZ and the 125,000-sf Arrowhead Marketplace in Glendale. The northwest Valley is attractive to retail investors because of its explosive population growth and the potential that it will continue to expand. “The whole area has just exploded,” Cam Stanton, the broker, along with Mike Auther, in the Phoenix office of CB Richard Ellis who negotiated the transaction, tells “There is no vacancy and there is two million sf of space between the power centers and the mall.”

GDA Real Estate Services, headed by Gary Dragul, owns at least four other retail centers in the Valley, but this is the company’s largest acquisition to date. The North Valley power center is located on the southeast corner of 83rd Avenue and Bell Road in Peoria, a suburb about 12 miles northwest of downtown Phoenix. The retail center is fully occupied with tenants including a JCPenney Home Store, JoAnn Fabrics and Ross Dress For Less. The 90%-occupied Arrowhead Marketplace is situated at the northeast corner of 83rd Avenue and Bell Road in Glendale, a suburb about 10 miles northeast of downtown Phoenix. Anchor tenants include Golfsmith, Office Max, Strouds Linens and Paddock Pools.

The rents at the two centers are about 30% below market average, Stanton says.”We think he’ll get some benefit out of that,” Stanton says. GDA Real Estate Services plans to hold onto the properties for a long-term investment, he adds.

The area’s growth has been spurred, in part, by the completion of the Agua Fria Freeway section of Loop 101, which connects to Interstate 17 in north Phoenix and to Interstate 10 in west Phoenix.

The Phoenix-based Westcor is the largest owner-manager of commercial properties in the metro area. Its portfolio includes 34 shopping centers, including 11 super-regional, six specialty retail and 18 urban villages. The company currently is two weeks shy of the opening of its latest retail offering, the 1.3 million-sf Chandler Fashion Square in Chandler.